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Survey says: Streets and sanitation top concerns among Philly residents

The city asked, you answered

Streets, sanitation, and public safety are of Philly residents’ top concerns.
Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In 2007, the City of Philadelphia polled its residents, wanting to know how they felt about their city’s services. Their top concerns at the time included police and fire protection, neighborhood improvement and blight removal, and street repairs.

Ten years later, not too much has changed on that front.

Yesterday the city released the results of its 2016-2017 Philadelphia Residents Survey and found that the main services Philly residents want the city to improve are streets, sanitation, and public safety, in that order.

Streets—namely repairs and cleaning—was of utmost concern to residents, with 49 percent and 56 percent of residents ranking street repairs and street cleaning as poor.

The survey had a 21 percent response rate, with 7,232 residents telling the city how they feel about its services. While the city received responses from all over, most respondents said they lived in South Philly and Center City neighborhoods.

In addition those three areas of improvement, code violations—think graffiti, litter, vacant lots, and abandoned buildings—were also cited as major concerns.

Mayor Jim Kenney said of the results, “We will do a better job. And, we will keep asking for your feedback.”

It wasn’t all bad news, though. In general, more than 80 percent of residents surveyed said that overall, city services are either excellent, good, or fair (the majority answer). They also gave the city’s parks and libraries high marks.

The plan now is for the city to conduct the same survey every two years instead of letting 10 years lapse so that it can more closely monitor its progress. The results from this year’s survey will serve as a baseline going forth.

Managing director Michael DiBerardinis said, “It is equally important that we make changes to our operations based on what you tell us about services that need improving. We are committed to doing so.”

Keep an eye out for the next resident survey, which will begin in 2018.